Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chickenhawk Motherfuckers

From Lawrence O'Donnell at Huffingtonpost:

Charlie Rangel is angry about the Iraq war, the one that Henry Kissinger has told us we can't win. Thanks, Henry, but most Americans figured that out before you did. Rangel saw combat in Korea. Kissinger has only seen combat on TV. That might have something to do with why Kissinger thinks our troops should stay in Iraq even though we can't win.

Kissinger says that if we leave now, all hell will break loose and Iraq will never achieve stability. Never mind that all hell has already broken loose. Never mind that Kissinger said the same thing would happen if we left Vietnam--all hell would break loose and Vietnam would never achieve stability. Vietnam has become so stable that Presidents Clinton and Bush, both combat cowards during the Vietnam war, have made well publicized, utterly safe visits to the country Kissinger used to think didn't have a chance without us.

In my one conversation with Kissinger, which occurred on TV, I asked him if he knew anyone who got killed in Vietnam. He was completely thrown. He doesn't go on TV to be asked such small-minded questions, he goes on TV to pontificate and TV interviewers are happy to let him do it. Kissinger sputtered and ran away from the question, leaving the distinct impression that he did not know anyone who was killed in the war he managed. His memoir of the period does not mention a single casualty. If you have ever stood at the Vietnam Memorial and run your hand over the name of a relative on the wall, as my mother and I did last month, you can get as angry as Charlie Rangel does about people like Kissinger deciding how long our soldiers should be exposed to enemy fire in a war we know we can't win.


Well over 95% of Americans, including Congress and White House staff, have no personal connection to this war--no relative or friend serving in Iraq. Over 99% of us have made no sacrifice for this war--we have not paid one more penny of taxes nor shed a drop of family blood. One of my military relatives thinks of it this way: "The American military is at war, but America is not at war."

Advocating war is easier when you and your family are not endangered by it. I've reached a Rangel-like breaking point with my TV pundit colleagues who championed the Iraq war and now say we can't leave even if we went there for the wrong reasons. For every one of them, I have a simple question: Why aren't you in Iraq? Or why did you avoid combat in your generation's war? The one unifying characteristic that all of us men in make-up on political chat shows share is fear of combat. Every one of us has done everything we can to avoid combat or even being fitted for a military uniform. Just like George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Dick Cheney, we are all combat cowards. It takes a very special kind of combat coward to advocate combat for others. It's the kind of thing that can get you as angry as Charlie Rangel.

Yup - it's time to put up or shut up for all the chickenhawk motherfuckers like Holy Joe Lieverman, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush who envision no end to the war ever.

You boys wanna send another 20,000 troops to Iraq? Fine - start by sending Barbara and Jenna, that toxic lesbian daughter of Cheney's, and all of Lieberman's kids. Hell, the Army's taking people up to the age of 42 now, so they're all eligible! And this way, the war sacrifice can be evenly shared.

And the same goes for all you tough-guy wingnuts who are fighting the war on terror by talking tough about "Islamo-Fascism" on the Internet. Sign up, babies! Put your money where your mouths are.

The war on terror needs warm bodies and cannon fodder, not bullshit comments left at blogs.

You've posted an interesting point here, but it's not just Bush's daughters that won't go to war, even if a draft is initiated. That factor includes all of the congressmen and senators that don't have any of their kids over there.

While I ponder over Rangle's reasoning as to why a Democrat wants to initiate the draft, I wonder where you stand on the draft idea? I am not shooting the messenger; however, this is a post that should make every single American think about where we are going. Although I may not agree with most of the things you post on, this one is admittedly a keeper.
PS - I served twenty years in the navy. I also gathered from your post that you have served in the armed forces yourself. What branch were you in?
The draft was imperfect, as the privileged and connected were able to weasel out or get plum placements. Clearly Rangel envisions something better, but I wonder if that's attainable. In fact, I wonder if it's ever been attainable.

I teach a lot of kids in my college classes, though, from countries like South Korea and Israel, where pretty much everyone joins no matter what.

A system like that would provide some checks on wars designed to enrich no-bid contractors.
I rarely suggest the following, but now that the war has provided an opportunity for political change, I think it would be useful to dial down the rhetoric. It is useless to dwell on why we are in Iraq except to note that indeed Nemesis follows Hubris and if any of the administrations' cheerleaders had paused from drinking their own bath water to read T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, or Davis Fromkin, or even if they had watched the final 20 minutes of Lawrence of Arabia, perhaps we would not be in Iraq. But, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Personally, I have concluded that the invasion of Iraq has further destabilized the middle east while empowering countries whose interests are inimical to our own. The question is: How can we best extricate ourselves without further contributing to the shambles we have induced; without further empowering the likes of Iran; and without further loosing face.

If you do not believe that concept of "face" is important here, I urge you to reconsider.

Obviously, we need a change of strategy and a change of tactics. I am uncertain as to what the best best plan for success may be, but I have concluded that a rapid redeployment of troops will certainly result in consequennces even worse than those conditions currently present.

Recently, and currently, I favor the plan of disarming the militias. If we begin w/ the Mekti Army, the duly elected government of Irawq will invite us to leave sooner, rather than later.

Apres nous, le deluge, but our redeployment will have been at the request of the Iraqi government.

I just spoke w/ my children who are spending Thanksgiving w/ my father in CT. I understand the weather is frightful, while here on the shores of the Great Plains, it is windy and mild.

Happy Thanksgiving evryione. I recommend reading John Winthrop's "A model of Christian Charity," a sermon delivered aborad the Arabella in 1630.

I find that reading it each Thanksgiving gives me a little focus.



Steve, I have never served in the military, though I do honor and admire all of those who do. I simply am heart-sickened that politicians and lawmakers of BOTH parties can play politics with the lives of military men and women when they know the current strategy in Iraq is a failure and yet they don't have the courage to change it. Instead they ask soldiers and marines to deploy to Iraq two, three, four times while the rest of us hang out back home. How many times can the same military men and women be asked to risk life and limb in Iraq while the rest of us sacrifice nothing? This is ESPECIALLY true of war supporters. If the Iraq war is so important to george W. and Holy Joe Lieberman, than they ought to be willing to sacrifice their own the way they seem to be willing to sacrifice the kin of others. otherwise, they just seem to think they're playing some big game of "Risk" or chess or something.

tony, I agree that a loss of "face" is problematic. I'm not actually proposing a rapid redeployment either. What I want is some change from the "Stand and Bleed" strategy. As you say, they are doing nothing to take care of the militia infiltration of the gov't or the ministries. Frankly, as long as Maliki is being propped up by Sadr and the mahdi Army, the administration is probably going to do little to deal with the militias. Which means we are simply treading water (or blood actually) while the administration looks for a way to extricate itself from the political mess but does nothing to actually clean that mess up. And in the final outcome, Iran seems to be the only winner.

Thanks for the tip about Winthrop, tony. I'm going to read that tonight actually.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
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